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Foil Your Friendly Diet Foes

7 strategies to help your diet survive temptations from not-so-supportive friends and loved ones


The same strategy applies to diet. Wouldn't it be sublime if co-workers swore off Krispy Kremes and walked a half hour at lunch, the kids begged you to buy broccoli at the store, and your mother offered nothing but kind encouragement?

Give up the fantasy. Instead, hook up with a friend who's as ready to change as you are and become diet buddies. Find a role model who's successfully lost weight and can help you past the rough spots. Enroll in a "Healthy Cooking" class. You've already made a huge step by joining WebMD Weight Loss Clinic. Be sure to check out our community for support and inspiration. You might consider professional help, as well, say a weight management clinic or counselor. The point is to build a support system that enables you to become your own best support.

3. Foil Your Fitness Foes

Another key to dealing with lack of support is to know your temptations, such as going out to eat with friends, and develop a strategy to deal with them.

"Friends may pressure you to make bad choices," says Joseph Quatrochi, Ph.D., a professor in the Department of Human Performance, Sport and Leisure Studies at Metropolitan State College of Denver. "Make a couple of decisions in advance."

One of these decisions is to select foods based on their preparation: for example, broiled or baked instead of fried. The other is not to clean your plate. "Often, you can take home one-third to one-half of a meal," Quatrochi tells WebMD.

This advice seems particularly pertinent when you consider the findings of a recent study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. That research found portion sizes have ballooned anywhere from 23% to 60% over the past 20 years -- not just in fast food places, but in restaurants, packaged snacks, and even our homes.

4. Keep it quiet

Madelyn Fernstrom, PhD, director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Health System Weight Management Center, also suggests that you not draw others' attention to your eating.

"When you announce you're on a diet, people automatically urge you to eat," she tells WebMD. "In situations where people offer you food, accept it, but remember you're not obligated to eat it all or even most of it."

5. Learn to handle sabotage

Perhaps touchiest of all is handling those people who seem bent on sabotaging your efforts

So try turning it around. For example, when your mother pushes her baked goodies on you, ask for her support instead, Wilson says.

"Say, 'Mom, I know you care about me, and I really need your help. Your desserts are a barrier. Will you consider supporting me in this way?'"

"If she accepts, thank her," he says. "If she continues to sabotage, the voice in your head should tell you that you're growing each time you go through this process. Cultivate a positive belief in yourself, and trust that you're getting stronger."

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